Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

October 27, 2008
Gumbo YaYa/ or this is why we speak in tongues travels~~~~south!

It is that time, again. Last year Gumbo YaYa/ or this is why we speak in tongues worked magic in NYC. Almost a year to date, I sent out this email to women for support of this so fresh and so necessary improvisational, sista-circle, healing, performance opportunity.

I am Ebony Golden currently living in Manhattan and working as an arts consultant and performer. Over the last year, I had the wonderful pleasure of working with a beautiful group of women who helped me think through what Womanist Performance Methodology and Practice is about. I had the opportunity to study with, learn from, and make trouble with some of the flyest sistas around. We honored ourselves. We were able to be honest. And we participated as we could. I would not have graduated without them.

I add these sistas to my infinitely growing family of sistas around the country. I am so blessed to work and dream with you all. Thank you Ayanna, Geneva, Joi, Cammile, Chelsea, RonAmber, Crystal, Tonya, Samantha, and everyone else who participated along with the rest of my family in DC, TX, GA, NC, IL CA, LA, and in other spaces. You hold me up, thank you.

It is time to begin the 2nd cycle of Gumbo YaYa! Through the generous funding and support of SpiritHouse-NC, North Carolina Humanities Council, Healing with CAARE the 2nd cycle will happen in Durham, NC.

I am dedicated to my healing, the healing of the women in my family and extended family, and the world. This is a process we are creating everywhere, let's continue to tap in together and see what shifts.

This process will have a few opportunities for performance, live and virtual, but mostly I am interested in articulating a poetics of womanist performance process and methodology that can be reproduced by us every where to heal ourselves and this world.


1- Intern interested in arts management, performance, grassroots activism, media relations, and social justice. Applicant must be flexible, a self-starter, and dependable. Applicant must be based in Durham-NC (or close by). Course credit and possible stipend available.


Women and girls to participate. If you know of a school, community center, or pre-existing program who might be interested in collaborating, let me know.


I need you to tell our story. A small group of sistas who are not afraid to undertake this work with me, whether they understand exactly where it is headed or not. Sistas who enjoy movement, music, writing, photography, people, good food, performing, making a fuss about us (black women), and who are not afraid to say we (black women) matter anywhere in this world.


1. sistas to perform several times during a 12-week period and beyond
2. videographer/ photographer/ editor
3. choreographer
4. stage manager
5. 'zine designer
6. web designer

1. voice recorders, tapes
2. gift cards (Target would be excellent)
3. performance space
4. video recorders, tapes, dvd
5. money, frequent flyer miles, train tickets, gas cards!!!

did I say money? oh, and money!


Your stories. Some of you are far away from me right now. But I would love to interview you about you and your healing process. Let's set up some time for phone interviews. I travel often, and maybe we can get together and talk.

Every one is invited to NC in March 09 to see a pivotal step in this journey. Can't wait.

Please take a look at the updated web site and leave poems, videos, letters, and words of encouragement on the Poetic Healing page.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Cool Spirits and Calm Waters,

Ebony N. Golden, MFA, American University
Performance Studies MA, NYU
Gumbo Yaya/or this is why we speak in tongues
Creative Director

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Women, Rock! and Politics Conference 2008
Institute for Women's Studies, UGA
Athens, Georgia

Everyone is welcome to this free conference. For information on local
accommodations, registration, and other details, go to

Athens locals don't miss keynote performance by queer and feminist rock icon
Gretchen Phillips, 6pm Saturday
( and after-conference party
with guest dj Melissa York.

Conference Program

Friday, May 30, Edge Hall, Hugh Hodgson School of Music, UGA

5:00 Opening reception

5:30 Welcome and Introductions

6:00 Fred Maus “52 Girls” A talk on the women of the B52s

7:00 Latin-American Scenes
Lesley Feracho , “Contesting the Nation :Women and Rock in Latin America”
Patricia Vergara “Funkeiras: Transgressing the Place of the Poor, Black, and
Female in Rio de Janeiro”

SATURDAY, May 31, Tasty World, downtown Athens

12:00 Brunch Buffet

1:00 Girls Rock Camps Collective, “Creativity, Community and Confidence
through Rock & Roll: Girls Rock Camps”

2:15 Rocking the Margins
Matt Jones, "(Re)discovering the Music of Judee Sill"
Sarah Cozort, “Women in Experimental Music”

3:00 Break

3:15 Stella Pace, “Riot Grrrl Self-Esteem Now: A Multimedia Performance”

4:00 Hip/Hop Feminisms
Ebony Noelle Golden, “Sonic Soul: Erykah Badu's Performance Practice”
Sarah Young Ngoh, “Black Motherhood in Hip/Hop and R&B Music”
Marnie Binfield, “Women’s Contributions to ‘Conscious Rap’”

5:45 Break

6:00 Keynote Performance/Presentation Gretchen Phillips

9:00- After-party at Tasty World with special DJ Melissa York, of The Butchies

UGA to host second annual conference on Women, Rock! and Politics

Athens, Ga.—The Institute for Women’s Studies at the University of Georgia is
hosting its second annual conference, Women, Rock and Politics, from Friday,
May 30 to Saturday, May 31.

This year’s conference brings together a great range of talks, images, and
performances on topics ranging from Girls Rock Camps, to hip hop feminism, to
the riot grrrl movement, to women in rock in Latin America.

The conference will begin on Friday at 5:00 p.m. with a reception and
presentations in Edge Hall at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music on the
University of Georgia campus, followed by a talk on the women of the B-52s by
renowned music scholar Fred Maus (UVA). Saturday's presentations and
performances, including keynote performance by rock icon Gretchen Phillips,
and conference after-party with guest dj Melissa York, will be at Tasty World in
downtown Athens. For a full program please visit

The conference is free and open to the public. Edge Hall is located in the Hugh
Hodgson School of Music, Third Floor, at 250 River Rd on the eastside of
campus. Tasty World is located at 312 East Broad Street in downtown Athens,
Ga. For more information contact the Institute for Women’s Studies at 706-

Molly Moreland Myers
Public Relations Coordinator
Institute for Women's Studies
University of Georgia
706-542-0066 (voice)
706-542-0049 (fax)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Garden

If your life was a garden (it is! it is!) what would you grow?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

variations on the same riff

you knew
when you placed that light inside me
when you licked this gold mine like you knew x marked the spot
when you stole my eyes
when you said rest here and waited three seasons
for peace to dwell in my pulse
when you measured my laughs in teaspoons of rain and breath
when you wrapped my hair in your skin
and carved an ankh on my lips
and softened the span of my hips
and charmed my neck roll
and said rest here and waited for the tides to subside in my step

you knew you knew
your face would be infinitely written on any future-brotha
your thumb print could never be washed from the inside of my left thigh
your scent would mingle in my every folicle
you knew
i would pass someone in a city you never visit and look twice and think its you
although you never visit

you knew
i would say hello hello twice like that
and wait for the sax in your voice to be revealed

hello hello

you knew how much i believe in god

and that even if i carved myself into some distant unthinkable corner of this earth
even if i went underground cause of some extraordinary revolutionary shit i got hooked up with

even if i forgot my own name cause my memory decided to swim away from me

i would never forget you

Thursday, March 13, 2008

sista circle goes live!!!

You thought you were too far away to participate in a performance process going on in NYC, well you were wrong.Calling all sistas who got something to say about blackness, womanness and artistic process. For more information visit

Please answer the questions below in any form you choose: a poem, letter, story, list, sketch, dance, meal, outfit or what ever!

Then send it to me at along with a bio and picture or yourself and what you created.

Please note if you want your ideas to be kept private, just let me know and I will honor your wishes

So here is the assignment:

As the Gumbo Yaya Sistre transition into thinking about our personal narratives of healing and spirituality, I would like to extend this process around awareness, identification, and literary production to all the sistas who come in contact with this email.

-please complete the questionnaire below


choose one of the following prompts and engage with it in your own way-

-a letter written to yourself as an infant

-a letter written to yourself as an elder

-an interview between you and a sista younger or older than you.


Please answer the following prompts-

-what does it mean to be a black woman to you? do you identify yourself as a black woman?

-what is black women’s art? is this important to identify? should art be universal?

-what does it mean to be an artist to you? do you identify yourself as an artist?

-what does womanism mean to you? do you identify yourself as womanist?

-if you could ask your mother one question about her journey as a black woman or artist, womanist, or spiritualist, what would you ask her?

-if you could ask your daughter or future daughter about her journey as a black woman or artist, womanst, or spiritualist, what would you ask her?

-is there anything that gets in the way of your process as a black woman artist womanist spiritualist?

-is there anything that supports your process as a black woman artist womanist spiritualist?

-what does an artistic process look like to/for you? do you have an artistic process?

-what comprises a womanist artistic process? is there such a process? should we (we being black women cultural producers) be concerned with this process?

Life and Peace,
Ebony Golden